A Glossary of Minting Terms

The following is a brief glossary of commonly used industry terms. A description of getting started on your custom coin or medallion can be found on the Custom Minting page and the Minting Design Process page.

.999 Fine - Pure precious metal (24 karat in case of gold)
2-Dimensional - Artwork is engraved without contouring
3-Dimensional - Artwork is sculpted in contoured multi-level relief
Coin - A piece of metal authorized by government to be used as money
Die - Engraved steel block used to stamp the medallion
Finished Art - Design used as guide for die engraving
Hallmarking - Weight, purity or other information pressed into medallions
Heat Treat - Process of hardening steel die after engraving
High Relief - figures that project out from a solid material
Medallion - Medal commemorating a person, place or event
Numbering - Optional serial numbering
Obverse - Front side of the medallion
Pattern - Master mold from which design is engraved
Reverse - Back side of the medallion
Rough Art - Initial concept sketches
Scale - refers to the handles on either side of a lock-back knife.
Sculpture - Clay or wax relief sculpture from which a master pattern is made
Select Plating - Highlighting defined areas of the medallion with 24K gold plating Troy Ounce - Unit of measure in which precious metals are sold (31.1 grams)

Northwest Territorial Mint: Insights & Ideas
Army Bottle Opener
Hot Topic: Bottle Opener

Ever been caught with an ice cold bottle of your favorite brew, but with no opener? Because we know that no self-respecting military man or woman would be without their dog tag, we thought, what better added functionality than a bottle opener. This idea has caught on, and now many customers want us to mint specialized dog tag bottle openers customized for them.

Get Custom Minting Ideas for Your Business

Sign up today for minting new, ideas, and case studies highlighting how custom minting can help your business or organization.

Northwest Territorial Mint: In The News


Northwest Territorial Mint: Did You Know?A brass alloy containing copper and zinc, used in ancient coins; also called aurichalcum, and orichalcum. Its name literally means gold-copper (aurum is Latin for gold, chalcum is Latin for copper). In Roman times Aurichalcum was used for coins and was made with the following ratio: 75% copper, 20% zinc, 5% tin. These aurichalcum coins were less valuable than silver coins. To read more about alloys used in coin making, click on the link below.